Colin Marshall

Here's a seemingly simple question: Can musicians in quarantine play music together over an Internet connection? We've migrated birthday parties, happy hours and church services to video calls these days, so couldn't we do the same with band practice? Across ubiquitous video conferencing tools like Zoom, FaceTime and Skype, it takes time for audio data to travel from person to person.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

Jazz musicians have always faced systems of discrimination in America. One insidious example was the cabaret card, a form of identification required for any musician to work in a New York nightclub from 1940 to 1967. The New York Police Department administered these licenses and revoked them for any minor infraction. As a result, some of the biggest names in the music at the time, like Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker, lost their right to work at a crucial points in their careers.

Relative to other states, Louisiana experienced an early spike in COVID-19 cases and on March 16, the city of New Orleans issued social distancing guidelines that advised against gatherings of more than 10 people. That included funerals. When a few names on the deceased list hit close to home, Brass-a-Holics bandleader Winston "Trombone" Turner felt they needed to be honored like they would have been, ordinarily — with music.

Seconds before we hit record, Snarky Puppy's bandleader, Michael League leaned in to ask if he could "do a little crowd work." I suspect he waited until the last second on purpose, but it's been easy to trust this band when they have an idea, judging by the three Grammy Awards they get to dust off at home after every tour run.

Dan Tepfer has transformed the acoustic piano entirely with his new project, Natural Machines. Watch the keys and you'll see this Disklavier — a player piano — plucking notes on its own. But it's not a prerecorded script.

Moments before the first note at the Tiny Desk, David Crosby needed the mics rearranged: He asked that his microphone be positioned evenly with the rest of his bandmates, rather than in front of them, explaining that while his name is the one on the marquee, The Lighthouse Band has no hierarchy.